Union-Rome Sewer District contract OK’d

Published 9:46 am Friday, February 15, 2013

Workers at the Union-Rome Sewer District will get a $2-per-hour raise on their 2013 contract following a 2-to-1 vote by the Lawrence County Commission.

The approval came at the commission’s regular Thursday meeting where Commission President Bill Pratt and Commissioner Freddie Hayes voted in favor of the contract while Commissioner Les Boggs was opposed to the rate increase.

“I think it is a slap in the face of every law enforcement officer, emergency worker and all union members who due to financial constraints received about a 25-cent per hour raise per year on three years as opposed to this contract which was 66 cents per hour over each year,” Boggs said after the meeting.

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The $2 raise is retroactive to June 1, 2012. Under the old contract lab technician/payroll clerk made $15.19 an hour; technician grade 1 made $14.95; technician grade 4 made $15.81; certified plant operator grade 1 made $13.14; and certified plant operator grade 4 made $13.99.

The contract is for three years and covers eight employees.

However, Pratt said he voted for the contract to resolve the issue that has been in negotiations for some time.

“We had come to an impasse and couldn’t agree on an amount,” Pratt said after the meeting. “Rather than go to fact finding we bit the bullet and went a little farther than we intended to and approved the contract.”

The commissioners’ initial offer was 30 cents per year for each of the three years.

“At that point we were getting information that the Union-Rome district was in a negative cash flow,” Pratt said. “The newest information is that Union-Rome had a much more significant carryover.”

The revenue from the district comes entirely from the monthly fee it charges its residential and commercial users. The county’s general fund does not support the district’s operation.

In 2012, the district received $2,741,639 in directly paid fees and $165,218 in delinquent fees that were charged back to the real estate taxes.

Expenses for 2012 were $2,797,140. In 2012 the monthly residential rate was $40.99. In 2013 the monthly rate is $50.71. In 2014 it will be $52.48 cents and in 2015 it will be $54.32.

In other action the commissioners:

• Appointed Debra E. Jones to the Board of Developmental Disabilities for a four-year term as requested by Probate/Juvenile Judge David Payne. Payne’s letter described Jones as a relative by marriage or blood to someone eligible for residential services or supported living. A spokesman for the board office said he was not allowed to give out any information about members of the board;

• Approved Pratt signing a demolition agreement for Memorial United Methodist Church in Coal Grove. The demolition will be of a house on the church property;

• Approved signing an administrative contract between the commissioners and the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization to administer CDBG grants;

• Approved a permit for Hecla Water to enter right of way on County Road 118 for relocation and installation of three-inch PVC water line;

• Approved a contract with Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services to hire Rob Van Keuren as a process server;

• Accepted the resignation of Amy Dillon, social service worker with DJFS;

• Received the weekly dog warden report where one dog was euthanized; 11 dogs were adopted or sent to rescue; and no dogs were redeemed. There were 73 dogs in custody.